Austin to Study McKalla Place for MLS Stadium

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The viability of an MLS stadium at McKalla Place for Columbus Crew SC will be explored, as Austin officials will conduct a study on the site. 

Earlier this month, Crew SC owner Precourt Sports Ventures announced that it would pursue McKalla Place as the site of a new Austin stadium for the club. PSV would look to privately finance the construction of a new stadium on the city-owned 24-acre site that is located near The Domain, a mixed-use development.

As part of the latest step in that process, the Austin City Council voted on Thursday to direct the city manager and staff to study the site’s viability as the home of a stadium. The full analysis, which is due at the beginning of June, will take multiple factors into consideration. More from The Austin Monitor:

The final resolution added several action steps recommended by [Council member Leslie] Pool, whose district includes the property in question, and gives June 1 as the due date for the analysis. Items added to the resolution include requests for:

Analysis of direct and indirect benefits of the stadium for Austin residents, as well as opportunity costs, such as losing the property as a possible site for affordable housing

Determination of how many Austin residents travel to other cities to view professional soccer games

Examination of the scope of infrastructure improvements needed, and the public safety costs involved, to properly service the stadium

Those components were added to the original language that asked for an economic impact analysis, a traffic impact analysis and an outline of a public engagement process to be conducted prior to finalizing any agreement with PSV.

McKalla Place’s standing as a potential MLS stadium site should become more clear over time, but it is not parkland, a notable distinction given the level of opposition that has been expressed to using a portion of city-owned parkland for the venue. Crew SC is looking to move to Austin as early as 2019, and would play at another venue in the area while the new stadium is constructed. However, no relocation plans have been finalized to this point.

Image courtesy MAPFRE Stadium. 

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